Racing Club Warwick’s run of four wins on the bounce ended abruptly against title favourites Walsall Wood on Saturday.
In an even first 20 minutes, Josh Cole had an effort saved comfortably before a Tony Clarke shot was deflected wide for the visitors.
Walsall Wood moved in front when a header was blocked and Paul Sullivan fired home the rebound.
Two minutes later they doubled their lead, Clarke holding off two defenders before chipping the advancing Tom Cross.
The league leaders scored a third in the 37th minute with Sullivan latching on to a long ball forward and firing past Cross.
Racers missed an opportunity to get back into the game in the 43rd minute, Adam Knight heading wide of the far post with Walsall Wood keeper Lloyd Ransome out of position.
Any lingering hopes of a Racing Club comeback were extinguished early in the second half when a sloppy pass from Alex Price let in Clarke. Cross saved bravely at his feet but the ball squirmed away to Sullivan who unselfishly rolled the ball across the box for Jordan Fitzpatrick to tap home number four.
“It was a disappointing performance but a good opportunity for us to learn and pinch ideas on how to improve our own game moving forward,” said home boss Scott Easterlow.
“Sometimes you have to just hold your hands up and say ‘on the day we were beaten by a better side’ and that was the certainly the case on Saturday. They are a strong side all over the park.
“From our own perspective, though, even with that in mind I felt we didn’t give a good enough account of ourselves.
“I certainly feel we showed them too much respect, allowed them to play their game and at their tempo.
“We needed to be on top of them and not give them a minute’s peace - try and rush or panic them into mistakes. We just didn’t get going in the early stages.
“The first two goals conceded by us were soft - just not reacting to second balls - which gave us a mountain to climb.
“Speaking with their management after, they had five or six lads who played two or three leagues higher last year and that experience was evident in their game management once they got the lead.
“We will draw a line under it, though. As long as we learn something from it we’re heading down the right path.
“We have another game Saturday when the lads get to put it right.
“Personally, I’m relishing going back to Walsall Wood later in the season. We will be better for the loss on Saturday and I’m sure we’ll give a better showing of ourselves in the reverse fixture.”
Racing Club entertain Lichfield City on Saturday (3pm).